VR is a medium not a gadget: 7 learning principles that work in VR

Virtual reality has been with us for years.  It is the ultimate learning simulation.  My first VR experience with in the Columbia University VR lab, where I was able to put on glasses like the one in this photo and “fix” a car engine.  I’ve never been as excited by any learning technology since, but it seemed to stay in that “someday it will be mainstream” zone for a long time.  There are a few apps on phones that take advantage of VR technology – apps that display where subway stations are through a smartphone lens, for example.  But nothing has ever come close to the experience of “fixing” that engine, though I’m sure gamers who’ve used Oculus Rift have experienced the total immersion that occurs.  What does that mean for learning?   Donald Clark gives us his thoughts, and they are all spot on.

“….we have an avalanche of research and evidence from flight and military sims that show how powerful simulations can be. You’d be surprised, indeed you wouldn’t step on a plane, if your pilot hadn’t gone through many hours of flight sims. The learning effect with VR promises to be even better.”

via Donald Clark Plan B: VR is a medium not a gadget: 7 learning principles that work in VR.

Workplace Performance: Embedding Learning in Work: The Benefits and Challenges

 

        

Organizations with strong informal learning capabilities (Bersin) are 300% more likely to excel at global talent development than organizations without those competencies.  It’s no wonder.  We learn best in context, and using ADDIE or a formal learning course usually does not embed learning in work.   Having short learnings available at point of need, or as performance support, is a way of filling in the gaps of experience.  This can improve not only individual performance, but team and organizational performance as well.  Article by Charles Jennings.

 

“A common finding that has emerged from study after study over the past few years is that learning which is embedded in work seems to be more effective than learning away from work. If people learn as part of the workflow then this learning is more likely to impact performance in a positive way.”

via Charles Jennings | Workplace Performance: Embedding Learning in Work: The Benefits and Challenges.

The TWO roles for L&D in the modern workplace: Learning Managers & Learning Consultants

 

Learning Consultants, who are a part of the Learning and Development team inside an organization, are ideal for supporting teams and individuals when their learning is self-managed.  Learning Consultants can recommend activities or activity pathways, act as a mentor, or guide a team activity.  Jane Hart expands on the concept in her article.

“Consequently, there are some really interesting new “blended training” initiatives appearing on the scene,  However, the role of L&D has itself not changed; most still see themselves as Learning (or Training) Managers who take on the total responsible for designing, delivering and managing a training solution”.

via The TWO roles for L&D in the modern workplace: Learning Managers & Learning Consultants | Learning in the Social Workplace.

Is Your Team Actually Using That New Technology?

Most likely they are not.  If there is one thing I’ve found consistently in both the corporate world and in academia, it’s that you can’t use too many tools.  If the technology becomes a part of the job that must be done, the tool must be used.  Choosing a few tools, and getting the entire organization accustomed to using them, is the best way to ensure adoption.  It is tempting to try to incorporate new ones, but as this article states, focus is often on deployment, not adoption.

This is a very short article but I emphatically agree.  A few key tools are all we can expect in terms of adoption, so transitions must be incorporated into any new decisions.  Investment into something new comes at a cost – and work functions become about the technology instead of the task at hand until the adoption is complete.

 

“Do fewer things better. You can’t jump on every new technology. Focus on ones that will create real value—and that you believe you can execute.

Plan and budget for adoption from the start. Communicate the value of adoption to your employees. Take into account the people, processes, and structural changes, and budget for training.

Lead by example. Model the change you want to see happen. For instance, you can participate on digital platforms and experiment with new ways of collaborating and connecting with employees.

Engage HR early. When relevant, encourage HR to take a leadership role in the transformation. It will be essential for them to adapt management and HR processes so the new practices get institutionalized.”

via Is Your Team Actually Using That New Technology? | Exemplarr – e Publishing & e Learning.

Neophobia fear of the new – not new but it’s….annoying

 

Why do people fear the new?  Is it a product of superficial reaction about cognition that doesn’t allow the mind and human nature to be malleable and adjust to new thinking?  This article by Donald Clark addresses neophobia.  He reminds us of the famous Douglas Adams’ thoughts – 1) Everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal  2)  Anything that gets invented before then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career of it  3)  Anything that gets invented after your thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it until it has been around for ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright….

I agree with his post, however this is about adults, and how they learn, and how they change.  The are additional dynamics that are introduced when a new process or technology is introduced into the “normalcy” that someone experiences everyday.  Every day tasks become about the technology, and not about the process or goal we are trying to achieve.  It gets in the way, it is like training a new employee (except we are training ourselves.)  It is an investment of time we hope will pay off.

Good food for thought from Donald Clark.

Thomas Kuhn and the evolutionist Wilson, saw neophobia as a brake on human thinking and progress, as individuals and institutions tend to work within paradigms, encouraging ‘groupthink’ which makes people irrationally defensive and unsupportive of new ideas and technologies.

via Donald Clark Plan B: Neophobia fear of the new – not new but it’s damn annoying.